Girls Get IT Conference at SCC Wins Innovation-of-the-Year Award

Monday, April 8, 2024
Girls Get IT

The annual Girls Get IT Conference continues to be recognized for its strong impact in helping inspire junior high and high school girls to pursue a career in information technology.

The Maricopa Community Colleges recently named Girls Get IT and Scottsdale Community College (SCC) as its 2023-2024 District-wide Innovation of the Year. The annual competition among the 10 Maricopa community colleges (of which SCC is one) and the district office celebrates the innovative practices taking place in higher education today.

Through interactive workshops led by community college instructors, Girls Get IT attendees learn about emerging technologies and the full range of educational programs and in-demand professional opportunities available in IT, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, web application design, object-oriented software development, and more.

View the Girls Get IT Video

At the November 2023 event, for example, participants learned how to use open broadcaster software (OBS) as a production tool to record/stream live events, use pre-built 3D models to do basic animation using Blender 3D, and spot the difference between artificial intelligence and deep fakes.

The event served more than 200 high school students (including from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community) and featured 60 professional women, including software engineers, web designers, program developers, and data analysts who provided insight, through their own lived experiences and encouragement to those considering a path in IT. The IT professionals also engaged in community-building conversations to further strengthen the talent pipeline for women in the field long-term.

“I am so proud that the Girls Get IT Conference continues to be recognized, because the event embodies the Maricopa Community College spirit,” said Dr. Eric Leshinskie, president of Scottsdale Community College. “The conference illustrates the many career opportunities in IT today to a traditionally underrepresented population in the field that will help grow skilled workers for in-demand careers. Multiple Maricopa colleges collaborate each year to help make this event such a huge success.”

Girls Get IT will receive the Dr. Paul M. Pair award of $2,500 to further the development and implementation of the project. The award is given in honor and memory of Dr. Paul M. Pair, a former President of the Maricopa Foundation, and long-time supporter and friend of Maricopa. Recipients are also recognized by the League for Innovation in the Community Colleges and invited to present at the 2024 Innovations Conference.

Girls Get IT is produced by the Maricopa IT Institute (MITI), a collaboration among Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa Community College, Rio Salado College and Scottsdale Community College. The Institute provides career readiness for the IT sector, including courses to up-skill workers. MITI meets the emerging technological workforce’s demand for talent in areas of app development using Swift/Xcode, big data, cloud computing, mobile and wearable technology, and the Internet of Things.

The next Girls Get IT Conference takes place Friday, Nov. 15, 2024. For more information, please visit Girls Get IT.